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Ontogeny and Phylogeny

"Ontogeny recapitulates phylogeny" was Haeckel's answer--the wrong one--to the most vexing question of nineteenth-century biology: what is the relationship between individual development (ontogeny) and the evolution of species and lineages (phylogeny)? In this, the first major book on the subject in fifty years, Stephen Gould documents the history of the idea of recapitulation from its first appearance among the pre-Socratics to its fall in the early twentieth century.

Mr. Gould explores recapitulation as an idea that intrigued politicians and theologians as well as scientists. He shows that Haeckel's hypothesis--that human fetuses with gill slits are, literally, tiny fish, exact replicas of their water-breathing ancestors--had an influence that extended beyond biology into education, criminology, psychoanalysis (Freud and Jung were devout recapitulationists), and racism. The theory of recapitulation, Gould argues, finally collapsed not from the weight of contrary data, but because the rise of Mendelian genetics rendered it untenable.

Turning to modern concepts, Gould demonstrates that, even though the whole subject of parallels between ontogeny and phylogeny fell into disrepute, it is still one of the great themes of evolutionary biology. Heterochrony--changes in developmental timing, producing parallels between ontogeny and phylogeny--is shown to be crucial to an understanding of gene regulation, the key to any rapprochement between molecular and evolutionary biology. Gould argues that the primary evolutionary value of heterochrony may lie in immediate ecological advantages for slow or rapid maturation, rather than in long-term changes of form, as all previous theories proclaimed.

Neoteny--the opposite of recapitulation--is shown to be the most important determinant of human evolution. We have evolved by retaining the juvenile characters of our ancestors and have achieved both behavioral flexibility and our characteristic morphology thereby (large brains by prolonged retention of rapid fetal growth rates, for example).

Gould concludes that there may be nothing new under the sun, but permutation of the old within complex systems can do wonders. As biologists, we deal directly with the kind of material complexity that confers an unbounded potential upon simple, continuous changes in underlying processes. This is the chief joy of our science."

Booklovers earn $4.40 in rewards when purchasing this title

PRODUCT DETAILS

  • Title: Ontogeny and Phylogeny
  • Author: Stephen Jay Gould
  • Edition Type: Reprint
  • Publisher: Harvard University Press
  • ISBN: 9780674639416
  • Length: 3.312 centimetre
  • Width: 15.5 centimetre
  • Languages: English
  • Format: PaperBack
  • Category: Biology
  • Publication Date: 01/07/1990
  • Pages: 520
  • Height: 22.7 centimetre
  • Weight: 1.42 pound

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Usually Dispatches
in 4-5 Days

Usually Dispatches
in 5-14 Days

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Flat rate Australia wide
Delivery time^
After dispatch
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via Australia post
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The expected delivery time period after the order has been dispatched via your chosen delivery method.
+ All our estimates are based on business days and assume that shipping and delivery don't occur on holidays and weekends.
# Express is not available on all items.
~ Please note this service does not override the status timeframe "Dispatches in", and that the "Usually Dispatches In” timeframe still applies to all orders.

 

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In addition to the estimated delivery date range, on the product page you will find how long an item will take to be dispatched.

  Dispatch time
The time it takes to verify the order, complete invoicing, prepare your item(s) and dispatch.  
Explanation
The dispatch time will depend on the status of your item(s) at our warehouse.  
Immediate download

Usually dispatches in Minutes

Digital downloads only

Dispatches next business day

Usually dispatches next business day+

In stock at our warehouse.

Dispatches in 4-5 business days

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Order ships directly from our supplier. Please Note: Deliveries of items with this status cannot be tracked. 

Dispatches in 5-14 business days

Usually dispatches in 5-14 business days+

Order placed with supplier, estimated arrival time to warehouse is 5-14 business days.


+ All our estimates are based on business days and assume that shipping and delivery don't occur on holidays and weekends.

 

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All our estimates are based on business days and assume that shipping and delivery don't occur on holidays and weekends.

 

Tracking delivery

Saver Delivery: Australia post

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Express Delivery via StarTrack Express

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International delivery

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International orders

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Parcel Weight New Zealand Hong Kong US & Canada United Kingdom

Up to 1kg

$30

$35

$40

$45

1.5kgs

$35

$45

$50

$60

2kgs

$40

$50

$60

$70

2.5kgs

$45

$60

$70

$80

3kgs

$50

$65

$75

$90

3.5kgs

$55

$75

$85

$100

4kgs

$60

$80

$95

$105

4.5kgs

$65

$85

$100

$115

5kgs

$70

$95

$110

$125

 

If your order weighs more than 1.0kg (2.2lb, roughly equivalent to 1 or 2 paperbacks), we'll let you know what your delivery charge will be, and seek your approval before sending your order.

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Delivery restrictions

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Problems with your delivery

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